Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected schools. Founded in 1749 as Augusta Academy, it was renamed to Liberty Hall Academy in 1776. When retired US President George Washington gave an endowment to keep the school open, it became Washington Academy, then Washington College in his honor. General Robert E. Lee served as college president from 1865-1870 (the year of his death); afterwards the school was given its current moniker to honor his contribution to the school and the state. This 4-year private university abuts Virginia Military Institute in the Shenandoah Valley between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Allegheny Mountains (around 180 miles from Washington, DC). A row of brick buildings comprising the Collonnade dates to 1824 and is a US National Historic Landmark. Three Supreme Court Justices, 94 US Congressmen and explorer Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark) graduated from this school.